Area residents will soon head to the polls yet again to determine Republican and Democrat nominees — and in some cases, apparent winners — for November general election races. Early voting for the runoffs from the March 1 Primary begins Monday.
Aside from four statewide races that impact Central Texans, there are also runoff elections in Coryell and Lampasas counties. There are no Bell County races on the runoff ballot.
One contested county race from the Republican Primary is on runoff ballots in Coryell County. No Democrats filed for office in Coryell County.
In the race for County Commissioner Precinct 4, incumbent Ray Ashby Jr. is squaring off against Keith Taylor. In March, Ashby received a total of 546 votes, good for 40.6% and Taylor received 446 votes, or 33.2%.
Ashby and Taylor outlasted former Copperas Cove Mayor Bradi Diaz, who finished third in voting with 352 votes, or 26.2%.
Also in March, County Judge Roger Miller all but assured his reelection when he defeated three challengers — Joey Acfalle, Jack Barcroft and Celia Sellers — in the primary.
In the race for Commissioner Precinct 2, Scott Weddle finished 240 votes ahead of Gatesville Fire Chief Billy Vaden.
Lampasas County has one Republican race in the runoff, since no Republican candidate for county clerk received more than 50% of the vote. No Democrats filed to run for county seats.
Candidate Dianne Miller will face off against opponent Dee Ann Crawford. The two candidates were within 6% of each other in March. Miller received the most votes in March with 1,871 — or 47.8% of the votes. Crawford received 1,649 votes — or 42.1% — in March.
A third candidate, Tasha Bates, finished third after receiving 397 votes — or 10.1%.
Two other contested races were effectively decided in March.
In the county’s Justice of the Peace Precinct 1 race, Republican Misty L. Wakeman outlasted James W. Mercer and Chris Munn with 54.3% of the vote.
Similarly, Dan Hause beat Gilbert Esparza and Matilde Uvalle-Werlinger with 62.2% of the vote.
Republicans and Democrats alike have four state races to vote on in the runoff next week.
Both will be voting on nominees for Texas attorney general and for commissioner of the General Land Office. For attorney general, Republicans will decide between incumbent Ken Paxton and challenger George P. Bush. Democrats will vote between Rochelle Mercedes Garza and Joe Jaworski.
For the Commissioner of the General Land Office, Republicans will choose between state Sen. Dawn Buckingham and Tim Westley. Democrats will decide between Sandragrace Martinez and Jay Kleberg.
Specific to Republicans, Wayne Christian and Sarah Stogner are vying for nomination for railroad commissioner, and Raul Reyes and Pete Flores are in a race for State Senate District 24, which includes the Killeen-Fort Hood area.
On the Democrat side, specific to them, Michelle Beckley and Mike Collier are facing off for the chance to challenge Republican incumbent Dan Patrick in November for the lieutenant governor’s position. Other Democrats Janet T. Dudding and Angel Luis Vega are vying to be the nominee for Comptroller of Public Accounts.
Early voting times and locations
Early voting in Bell County will go from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday.
Killeen will have three polling locations: the Bell County Annex, 304 Priest Drive; the Jackson Professional Learning Center, 902 Rev. R.A. Abercrombie Drive; and the Senior Center at Lions Club Park, 1700 E. Stan Schlueter Loop. The Parks & Recreation Center in Harker Heights, 307 Miller’s Crossing, is also a polling place.
Locations also include the Temple Independent School District Administration Building, 401 Santa Fe Way in downtown Temple; the Bell County Courthouse Annex, 550 E. Second Ave. in Belton; and the Salado Church of Christ, 217 N. Stagecoach Road in Salado.
In Coryell County, voters can go to the polls from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday at the Copperas Cove Early Voting Center, 508-B Cove Terrace, or the Gatesville Annex, 801 E. Leon St.
In Lampasas County, early voting will go from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday as well as Wednesday through Friday. On Tuesday, it will go from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. The location is in the election office, 407 S. Pecan St., Suite 102, in Lampasas.